From The Pillion Seat: By Karr
From the pillion seat
I had the privilege of riding bitch on a fresh 2020 Kawasaki Z900 road test bike. It was good fun; but is there really such a thing as a non-fun bike ride?
Laying eyes on it for the first time, it is a thing of angry beauty. Naked, dark, with an evil eye glare that seems to dare you to ride it… hard. My pilot set it on “Sport” mode, so naturally you expect a harder ride. And you’d be right.
Being relatively pillion-wise, with thousands of kilometres covered on a multitude of motorcycles, I knew immediately that this was not the ideal long-distance pillioning machine. The rider’s seat seemed relatively decent, but the little carving of hard plastic nestled upon its tail did not invite much comfort-confidence.
I swung up, finding it surprisingly easy to mount. We set off. Almost instantly I noticed the lack of butt-grip on the smooth surface – this did however improve quickly. The riding position is comfortable, even for a six-footer with giraffe legs. You sit relatively high in proportion to the rider, as would be expected on a bike such as the Z900.
Have a Z900, and your missus is pillioning? Take bumps slowly, please. On the “Sport” setting, all bumps are happily relayed to your bitch-riding undercarriage.
But oh, corners are fun. The Z seemed all too happy with being thrown through corners at healthy speeds. Not everyone I’ve pillioned with leaned that low, and I suspect with more miles we would be going lower – and faster.
Don’t forget straight lines. Those were fun as well. Traffic was navigated with hot-knife-and-butter ease. This may however have a lot to do with the pilot’s skill set and slightly less to do with the bike itself.
All in all, if you’re going for a short Sunday blast with your lady, the Z will give you that blast of fun. But if you’re planning a trip a little further than the local breakfast haunt, she might need some tender care in the butt-and-undercarriage department. Your lady, that is. This is a machine more intended for solo flight.
Bearing in mind that I am not a Kawa-girl, I would still splash out on one of these, had I in my possession a smidge under R160k.
Just don’t tell everyone.
* Many thanks to my pilot for being the awesome pilot he was.
– Karr “